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Aliens: Berserker

Aliens Universe: Series 2: Book 9

S. D. Perry

It is called a Berserker teamreckless, desperate volunteers recruited by the Company to destroy alien infestations.

Based on the spaceship Nemesis, it consists of three brutal ex-cons who do all the grunt work and the Berserker itself, code-named MAX: an armed and armored exoskeleton powered by the living brain of what was once a human, configured into an unstoppable killing machine.

When the Nemesis is sent to a massive space station, D.S. 949, the team finds an alien hive, the largest in history, with nearly a thousand hapless humans cocooned and incubated. The team mission: to destroy the aliens while leaving the terminal intact. The mission seems like suicide to the bug hunters and their small support staff. And that is perfectly fine for the Company... which wants no witnesses left to the terrifying secret of D.S. 949.

Masque of the Red Shift


Fred Saberhagen

Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in If, November 1965. The story can also be found in the anthologies World's Best Science Fiction: 1966, edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr and Visions of Wonder (1996), edited by David G. Hartwell and Milton T. Wolf. It is included in the collection Berserker (1967).

Mr. Jester


Fred Saberhagen

Hugo Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in If, January 1966. The story is included in the collections Berserker (1967) and The Berserker Wars (1981).

Shadow of the Wolf

Berserker: Book 1

Chris Carlsen

Blood Lust!

When Odin's curse fell upon him, Haralk Swiftaxe, the young Norse warrior, lusty in love and battle, was fully human no longer. He was incensed with the animal rage of the god's devotees, the Berserkers. The snarling ferocious savagery of the bear possessed him. Immune to fire and steel, frenzied by the smell of blood and the sight of torn human flesh, he was driven to the worst of human deeds.... The stench of fear was meat and drink to him, and cowering women learned of his cruel, insatiable lust.

The bear screeched its ecstasy--yet at times the man dimly understood the horror. Could the demon god be killed, the spell lifted...? I fthere was a way, the price of failure would be high, greater than death itself....


Berserker: Book 1

Fred Saberhagen

Long ago, in a distant part of the galaxy, two alien races met--and fought a war of mutual extinction. The sole legacy of that war was the weapon that ended it: the death machines, the BERSERKERS. Guided by self-aware computers more intelligent than any human, these world-sized battlecraft carved a swath of death through the galaxy--until they arrived at the outskirts of the fledgling Empire of Man.

These are the stories of the frail creatures who must meet this monstrous and implacable enemy--and who, by fighting it to a standstill, become the saviors of all living things.

Stories included:

  • Fortress Ship
  • Goodlife
  • In Temple of Mars
  • Mr. Jester
  • Masque of Red Shift
  • Patron of Arts
  • Peacemaker
  • Sign of the Wolf
  • Stone Place
  • Face of the Deep
  • What'T' and 'I' Did

The Bull Chief

Berserker: Book 2

Chris Carlsen

Cursed in Blood!


In the Celtic tribal lands of Connacht, he came of age among the Druids and headhunters and the ghosts of the great Bronze Age people of Danann.

He fought his savage, bloodthirsty way to the east, as a naked warrior who had rejected the tribal laws. And there Arthur, Warlord of the Britons, came to find him., to exploit his skill and invulnerability in the war against the Saxons.

Yet Swiftaxe, the Berserker, wanted one thing only; to break the curse that condemned him to his life of frenzied violence and bloodlust!

But until the might of the Saxons was destroyed, he would never be free...

Brother Assassin

Berserker: Book 2

Fred Saberhagen

Also published as BROTHER BERSERKER.

The novel is told in three parts, each part based on a short novel: Stone Man, Winged Helmet and Brother Berserker.

On the planet Sirgol the death machines have a unique and subtle mode of attack--for all the galaxy only on Sirgol is time travel possible. Now, fought to a standstill in the present, they have turned to the past in an attempt to destroy the very roots of life. The time and place of the next attack has been pinpointed: the berserkers will try to eliminate Vincent Vincento, an early genius whose loss will cost mankind a hundred years of progress in the physical sciences.

Derron Odegard, one of the elite corps of Time Operatives, has the toughest assignment in Sirgol's history: protect Vincento at any cost.

The berserkers have chosen to focus their latest attack upon one individual. Their target, King Ay of Queensland. His removal from history would have disastrous consequences for us . . . In nineteen or twenty days' present-time, the historical shock wave reaches us. I'm told that the chances of our finding the enemy keyhole within nineteen days are not good.

Rearing over the ship was a head out of nightmare: a dragon face from some evil legend. The eyes were clouded suns the size of silver platters, the scales of head and neck were gray and heavy as wet iron. The mouth was a coffin, lid opened just a crack, all fenced inside with daggers . . . Ay met it bravely. But the full thrust of his long sword, aimed straight into the darkness of the throat, counted for no more than a jab from a woman's pin. The doorllike jaws slammed shut. For a moment, as the monstrous head swept away on its long neck, there could be seen the horrible display of broken limbs dangling outside the teeth. . .

The Horned Warrior

Berserker: Book 3

Chris Carlsen

Brotherhood of Blood!

Once again, the Berserker became flesh...

Among the wild hills and forests of Britain, he was reborn as the Celts' mightiest warrior. Even as a boy, his mad bloodlust spread superstitious terror among friend and enemy alike. He was Swiftaxe, known as the Horned Warrior: half ghost, half man -- and all killer.

In the arena of the Roman conquerors he bathed his axe in the gore and sninews of those who dared fight him. And in his native Britain he let nothing bar his only desire -- freedom from the age-old curse that held him captive, a crazed animal among men.

UNtil finally he sought his brother, at the Place of the Stones, for the ultimate blood-letting. The sacrificial, titanic battle that would call the gods down from their seats of power and liberate the Berserker at last...

Berserker's Planet

Berserker: Book 3

Fred Saberhagen

Five hundred years have passed since the combined fleets of humanity met and broke the berserker armada at Stone Place. But through the human victory was total, one of the killer machines--weaponless, its star drive a ruin-- managed to limp to secret sanctuary on a planet called Hunter's World. Over the years since then a new cult has arisen there, a cult dedicated to Death as the only and ultimate Good. For Hunter's World has become BERSERKER'S PLANET.

The rifle stuttered in Suomi's hands. The sword-brandishing golem's left arm erupted in a spray of dry-looking particles and smoke as the man-thing spun in an incredible pirouette, more graceful by far than any wounded animal. Knocked off balance and deflected from its course by the shock of the rifle's force-packets, the towering shape slid past Suomi and on down the sloope.

But it did not fall. In another moment, near the bottom, it had regained full control and stopped its slide. Then it turned and was calmly climbing, like a mountain goat, at a fast run.

The sword, whirling and gleaming, came toward him once again . . .

Berserker Man

Berserker: Book 4

Fred Saberhagen

Once mankind feared the berserkers, killer machines determined to eradicate all life in the universe. But the Berserker Wars are over and the threat of the sentient doomsday devices is over. Or is it?

The berserkers are back, stronger and more unstoppable than before. And one strange child, half human and half machine, may be humanity's only hope -- or its final destroyer. Now the fate of civilization rests in the hands of BERSERKER MAN.

He was driving them in evasive maneuvers now, while the hull crashed like a gong, and flashes of enemy force were plain in the simultaneous overload of instruments. Flash and crash again, blinding stroke from the enemy and blending sigh of their own weapons lashing back, more in defiance than in any true hope of damaging Goliath. The berserker which had caught them by surprise was too big to fight, too fast to get away from, here in relatively open space. Nothing to do but dodge--

Yet again the berserker struck . . .

The Ultimate Enemy

Berserker: Book 5

Fred Saberhagen


The death machines are capable of any treachery, able to assume any disguise, motivated only by their prime directive: to seek out and destroy life wherever it may hide.


The fragile life-form that hides within its puny frame a curiously unquenchable something... call it 'spirit'. This odd facet of an otherwise undistinguished example of the disease of life has been a source of deep annoyance to the berserkers since first the two forms met: no wonder then that for each the other is THE ULTIMATE ENEMY


  • The Smile
  • Pressure
  • The Annihilation of Angkor Apeiron
  • Inhuman Error
  • Some Events at the Templar Radiant
  • Starsong
  • Smasher
  • The Game
  • Wings Out of Shadow

The Berserker Wars

Berserker: Book 6

Fred Saberhagen

A File which presents the History of the Galaxy...
Transmission Mode: Triplicate Message Torpedoes
Code: Trapdoor XIII
TX Date: 7645.11.0
From: Archivist Ingli, Expedition Co-ordinator
To: Chief Co-ordinator, Earth Archives
cc Defense Co-ordination Central

Hal: We're here, surrounded by friendly Carmpan of whom we rarely see more than one or two at a time, and then usually only with some partial or symbolic physical barrier between us. Everything is going pretty much as expected, we have experienced nothing really contrary to the experience of a thousand years' occasional and arm's-length contact with the race. By the way, it's beginning to look, to me at least, less and less coincidental that our first meeting with the Carmpan coincided almost exactly with the beginning of the Berserker War. I'll have more to say on this point presently.

Let me first describe what I consider to be our main achievement so far on this mission. To begin with, the structure in which we are living and working is best described as a large, comfortable library, and we have been given free access to storage systems. (I hope, by the way, that the exchange team of Carmpan researchers on Earth are being treated as well as we are here.) Much of this mass of stored data is, as we expected, still unintelligible to us and so far useless. But quite early in the game our hosts pointed out to us, for our special attention, an alcove containing what we've come to call the private archive of the Third Historian. Having looked at the files therein, my colleagues and I agree unanimously that they were very probably compiled and largely writeen by the same Carmpan individual who used that name (or title) as signature to the messages he composed and sent to our ancestors some generations ago, when the Berserker peril was even greater than it is today.

Since a copy of this report is going directly to the military, Hal, bear with me when I pause now and then to insert a paragraph or two of history. We can't reasonably expect that all the readers over there are going to know as much of it offhand as we do.

Stories included:

  • Stone Place
  • The Face of the Deep
  • What T and I Did?
  • Mr. Jester
  • The Winged Helmet
  • Starsong
  • Some Events at the Templar Radiant
  • Wings Out of Shadow
  • The Smile
  • The Adventure of the Metal Murderer
  • Patron of the Arts

Berserker Base

Berserker: Book 7

Fred Saberhagen

A Collaboration by Fred Saberhagen, Poul Anderson, Edward Bryant, Stephen R. Donaldson, Larry Niven, Connie Willis and Roger Zelazny.

Created in an ancient war, implacable machines programmed to destroy all life, they seem invincible. But now humanity has come to a berserker base; Lars, a prisoner of war who will not surrender; the crew of ASTER'S HOPE, peaceful explorers who must now learn to fight; and Holt and Morgan, who will use the alien skills of the primitive 'Reen to face the planet killers.

  • Itself Surprised - Roger Zelazny
  • Teardrop Falls - Larry Niven
  • With Friends Like These - Connie Willis
  • Deathwomb - Poul Anderson
  • What Makes Us Human - Steven R. Donaldson
  • Pirates of the Twilight - Ed Bryant:
  • Prisoners' Base - Fred Saberhagen
  • Friends Together - Fred Saberhagen
  • The Founts of Sorrow - Fred Saberhagen
  • The Great Secret - Fred Saberhagen
  • Dangerous Dreams - Fred Saberhagen
  • Crossing the Bar - Fred Saberhagen
  • Berserker Base - Fred Saberhagen

The Berserker Throne

Berserker: Book 8

Fred Saberhagen

The Empress of the Eight Worlds has been assassinated during the Holiday of Life festivities on the planet Salutai. Prince Harivarman, exiled and a virtual prisoner on the Templar Radiant, a vast spherical fortress constructed around an ancient, benign, star-like source of inverse gravity, suspects that he will be the next victim. Help is scarce: Garielle, the Prince's stunning redheaded lover, fears for her own safety. Anne Blenheim, the fortress's clear-eyed, fair Commander is favorably disposed toward the Prince, but her first responsibility is to the Templar High Command. Beatrix, the Prince's dark, iron-nerved yet seemingly demure wife, has already left him once. And Chen Shizuoka, the Templar recruit who has stayed a demonstration on Harivarman's behalf during the disastrous celebration on Salutai is being stalked by planetary security forces.

When Prince Harivarman discovers an operable Berserker--one of the asteroid-sized, spacefaring war machines that had destroyed their makers and all other life they found in their path--his first instinct is to turn it in. But then he finds an ancient code that will either allow him to control the dreaded machine or lead him--and everyone else on the Templar Radiant--to certain death.

. . . stunning plot twists and rich descriptions of the sophisticated and somehow desolate Templar landscape. The harrowing climax, set in the fortress's outer reaches where walls have been inscribed with a mysterious forgotten art form, will surpass the expectations of veteran Saberhagen fans and delight all those lucky enough to be savoring this author's otherworldly talent for page-turning suspense for the very first time. This fascinating journey is intergalactic travel at its most exciting.

Berserker Blue Death

Berserker: Book 9

Fred Saberhagen

The great blue berserker's destruction of the human colony Shubra was swift and merciless.

Niles Domingo's daughter lies among the dead.

Niles Domingo is a man with a mission: Vengeance at any cost. With one small ship, he sets out against the great berserker called Leviathan, tracking it through the interstellar mists of the Milkpail Nebula. He is sure he is ready for anything. But nothing can prepare hom for the astonishing discoveries that lie between him and Leviathan.

The Berserker Attack

Berserker: Book 10

Fred Saberhagen

Our wars were behind us. earth had a unfied governemnt and for the first time mankind was moving out from the planet of its birth. New worlds were settled and with the wealth of the galaxy at hand, poverty was eliminated. Then out of a clear summer sky came the first berserker attack.

These are tales from the final battles between life and non-life, between the great killing machines we came to call berserkers and humanity, all that it was or had ever held dear.


  • Masque of the Red Shift
  • In the Temple of Mars
  • Brother Berserker
  • Smasher

Berserker Lies

Berserker: Book 11

Fred Saberhagen


  • The Machinery of Lies
  • Masque of the Red Shift
  • In the Temple of Mars
  • Brother Berserker
  • Smasher

Berserker Kill

Berserker: Book 12

Fred Saberhagen

Long, long ago. . . two alien races fought a war of extinction. All that is left of either of them are the Berserkers: vast, thinking, space-faring, killer machines whose sole purpose is to destroy all living things. For the first time in all of their history, they have met a life form that has a chance of stopping them.

In the cold reaches of space, the Berserkers seize a floating laboratory full of human germ-plasm--stored for retrieval and growth in a future colonization project. But the ship contains millions of human lives. Why are the Berserkers not destroying them? And will the human pursuers manage to find the missing lab, defeat the Berserkers, and save the nascent lives?

A major Berserker novel -- one of Saberhagen's finest -- with one hell of a surprise up its sleeve.

Berserker Fury

Berserker: Book 13

Fred Saberhagen

Before George Lucas's Death Star, before Star Trek's Doomsday Machine, came the Berserkers: intelligent, space-faring killing machines whose sole purpose is to destroy all life. BERSERKER FURY is the latest in Fred Saberhagen's thrilling series, where mankind is pitted against the relentless machine organisms bend on destruction.

The Berserkers have developed a new trick: Berserker units that can pass for human-created androids. They're gambling on the advantage this gives them, and massing for an all-out attack on human-held space. But the humans have developed a trick of their own: they've cracked the Berserkers' basic codes and know what their battle plans are:

Both sides are betting everything they have.

For one of them, it will be the beginning of the end.

Shiva in Steel

Berserker: Book 14

Fred Saberhagen

In a sector of the galaxy occupied by Earth-descended people, one Berserker® computer has suddenly and mysteriously developed a tactical strategy unlike anything the human opposition has seen before. Shiva, like the Hindu god of destruction after which it was named, annihilates entire colonies with the help of its fiendish subordinates. Commander Claire Normandy struggles to prepare for Shiva's attacks, while Pilot Harry Silver realizes that he must deal with his own demons in order to help her. When the Berserkers approach, a decision is made to destroy the destroyer, whatever the cost. Neither side, however, is prepared for the incredible risks that emerge as the attack becomes imminent. Can Normandy, Silver, and their forces face the possbility that something wholly unexpected yet eerily familiar lies gnarled within the steel?

Berserker's Star

Berserker: Book 15

Fred Saberhagen

Acclaimed author Fred Saberhagen continues his widely popular and influential Berserker Series, a chronicle of a war between humanity and the terrifying race of sentient machines bent on death and destruction.

Pilot Harry Silver's name is known throughout the galaxy--and that notoriety does not always work in his favor. While he has defeated his share of Berserkers, he has also stolen a powerful weapon from the Space Force, making him a fugitive from the life he once knew. Looking for an adventure, and not one to turn down a lot of cash, Harry agrees to bring a passenger aboard his ship, Lily, a woman who is on a quest to retrieve her husband.

It won't be easy, as Lily's husband has joined a secretive religious cult on Maracanda, an almost-planet lodged between a shifting black hole and a neutron star. While the landscape of Maracanda is treacherous, so too, may be the people around Harry Silver.

As the search for Lily's husband deepens, Harry finds himself investigating a larger mystery and looking for missing persons, almost ending up one himself. And as always, there is the threat of death from above, in the path of a machine whose only intent is to kill . . .

Berserker Prime

Berserker: Book 16

Fred Saberhagen

Master storyteller Fred Saberhagen continues his bestselling Berserker series, detailing humanity's war with the dreaded juggernaut-like machines programmed to destroy all life in the galaxy.

In the Twin World planets, Prairie and timber, Plenipotentiary Gregor is determined to serve his government. Even if it means executing innocent Huvean hostages, invaders from another planet. And even though Gregor's granddaughter, Luon, is in love with Reggie, a Huvean.

But now the Berserkers are threatening the TGwin Worlds, crashing a scoutship, capturing the planets' president, and reprogramming this brain to suit their violent agenda. And only the Huveans, in a desperate reprieve, can save the Twin Worlds' populace from annihilation.

Rogue Berserker

Berserker: Book 17

Fred Saberhagen

Harry Silver had already had a lifetime of trouble from Berserkers, the automated killing machines which were armed with weapons powerful enough to sterilize a planet and programmed eons ago by a now extinct race to denude the galaxy of life. After losing his merchant spaceship in a recent battle with one of the death machines, he faced economic ruin.

Then Winston Cheng, one of the wealthiest humans in the galaxy, offered to buy him a new top-of-the-line ship in return for doing a job. While the two men talked, a holograph of a young woman and her child played over and over. The woman was Cheng's granddaughter. She and her son were Cheng's only surviving descendants -- and they had been kidnapped from their space yacht by a Berserker. Cheng wanted to hire Silver to rescue them.

The offer would have been tempting if Silver hadn't thought the job was not only too dangerous, but likely to be futile, as well. Berserkers usually killed humans outright, in accord with their programming. When one of the killer machines took humans alive, it was invariably for experimentation, trying to determine what made their human enemies tick and looking for a weakness to exploit. Silver was certain that Cheng's loved ones were dead by now, or, if alive, no longer recognizable as anything human. And Silver had barely survived his previous encounters with Berserkers. So he declined Cheng's offer -- until Silver's own wife and daughter were similarly kidnapped by a Berserker, possibly the same one.

Silver now had nothing to live for but revenge. Cheng's offer was still open, and silver quickly joined the assault team, but not without suspicions which he kept secret. The timing of the abduction of his wife and daughter could not be a matter of chance. someone on Cheng's team must have leaked silver's name to the Berserkers somehow. He also thought it suspicious that an old acquaintance with a strong grudge against him was also on the team. Before the mission was over, Silver would find that his wildest suspicions fell far short of the truth. And he would find himself in an alliance he could never have predicted -- one which he was unlikely to survive . . .

The Berserker's Horse

Isadora and Lark: Book 1

Lisa Maxwell

The Alliance is a totalitarian government that uses all living creatures as tools for war and slavery. A young orphan girl, tired of turning horses into weapons of destruction for the state, flees on her favorite steed. In her escape, she meets a mute stranger who may hold the key to the Alliance's downfall. The answers they seek will either deliver them to freedom or death.

Iriya the Berserker

Vampire Hunter D: Book 23

Hideyuki Kikuchi

She might just look like an ordinary-if beautiful-young woman, but Iriya is anything but ordinary! A ruthless warrior clad in red armor, Iriya is a Hunter determined to exterminate the vampires that were once her parents and siblings. Now, half-vampire, half-human D has to decide to offer his assistance, get out of the way, or have a dangerous battle on his hands!